Stellar financial year gains for Australian sharemarket

The Australian sharemarket finished in the green on the final day of the financial year, with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rising 24 per cent over 2020-21 – its biggest gain since inception in 1992.

The S&P/ASX200 gained 0.16 per cent to 7313 while the All Ordinaries Index lifted 0.26 per cent to 7585.

CommSec analyst Steve Daghlian said the All Ords rose by 26.4 per cent over the financial year – its biggest gain in 34 years.

Mining stocks were big gainers, with mineral sands miner Iluka Resources benefiting from Rio Tinto halting operations at its Richards Bay Minerals project in South Africa, which has been plagued by ongoing local unrest and violence.

Iluka shares soared 11.72 per cent to $9.15 while Rio Tinto put on 1.3 per cent to $126.64.

Venture Minerals rocketed 11.11 per cent to 15 cents after reporting encouraging exploration results from its South West nickel, copper and platinum group elements joint venture with Chalice Mining, which rose 4.65 per cent to $7.42.

Other strong performers in the sector were Poseidon Nickel, spiking 12.66 per cent to 8.9 cents, Mineral Resources, putting on 4.05 per cent to $53.73, and fellow lithium producer Orocobre, gaining 3.36 per cent to $6.47.

BHP lifted 1.06 per cent to $48.57.

Stellar financial year gains for Australian sharemarket

Camera IconMining stocks were stellar performers. Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian Credit: News Corp Australia

OMG chief executive Ivan Tchourilov said travel stocks outperformed the broader market after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the recent lockdown was “working” and was having the desired effect of bringing locally transmitted cases under control.

Her comments came despite the state recording 22 new Covid cases in 24 hours.

“Travel and accommodation platform Webjet has responded well to the news … while Flight Centre and Qantas are also up,” Mr Tchourilov said.

Webjet appreciated 3.59 per cent to $4.91, Flight Centre added 2.06 per cent to $14.85 and Qantas improved 2.42 per cent to $4.66.

Telstra announced it would sell 49 per cent of its mobile phone tower infrastructure to the Future Fund, Sunsuper and Commonwealth Super Corp, pushing its share price to 12-month highs.

“The sale was executed at a healthy multiple of 28 times earnings, which is very attractive for an infrastructure asset like this,” Mr Tchourilov said.

“They will be reporting full year figures in July and this sale may lead to greater returns to shareholders through dividends due to be distributed in August.”

Telstra shares gained 4.44 per cent to $3.76.

Stellar financial year gains for Australian sharemarket

Camera IconTelstra is selling 49 per cent of its mobile phone tower infrastructure. NCA NewsWire/David Mariuz Credit: News Corp Australia

Jewellery retailer Lovisa surged 6.27 per cent to $15.25.

“It seems to have coincided with news that its largest shareholder Brett Blundy, who owns 40 per cent of the company, struck a deal to sell his lingerie chain (Honey Birdette) in the US for over $440m,” Mr Daghlian said.

A big loser was power generator and retailer AGL Energy, which provided an update on its radical demerger, focused on lower carbon-emitting energy sources.

Under the plan, AGL will be renamed Accel Energy and produce baseload power while redeveloping its sites as “low-carbon industrial energy hubs”. Spin-off AGL Australia will be a separately listed, multi-product energy retailer.

The plan has been derided by Greenpeace Australia Pacific as “putting green lipstick on a pig”, with the activist group saying AGL would still source the bulk of its energy from its coal-burning assets.

AGL shares dropped 9.99 per cent to $8.20.

Stellar financial year gains for Australian sharemarket

Camera IconNuix shares have tanked since it debuted on the ASX just a few months ago. Departing chief executive Rod Vawdrey apologised to investors. NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi Credit: News Corp Australia

Beleaguered investigative analytics and intelligence software company Nuix plunged 12.99 per cent to $2.21 after disclosing it was aware the Australian Securities and Investments Commission was conducting an investigation into former chief financial officer Stephen Doyle, his brother Ross Doyle and father Ronald Doyle.

That followed another explosive report in the Australian Financial Review’s series of articles on Nuix claiming the regulator alleged Stephen Doyle pocketed millions from insider trading after helping to release a prospectus for the company’s December IPO that was false and misleading.

“We are genuinely disturbed by the allegations concerning Mr Doyle and will fully assist ASIC in getting to the bottom of that matter,” Nuix said, adding it was aware ASIC had started a separate probe into the company’s financial statements, specifically its prospectus, but had not received any formal notification.

Chief executive Rod Vawdrey announced his resignation earlier this month, the same day the company said Mr Doyle’s employment was being terminated by mutual agreement.

Nuix’s IPO was the ASX’s largest-ever software IPO, having raised nearly $1bn, and was Australia’s second biggest IPO in 2020.

ANZ slipped 0.32 per cent to $28.15, Commonwealth Bank declined 0.6 per cent to $99.87, National Australia Bank firmed 0.42 per cent to $26.22 and Westpac eased 0.19 per cent to $25.81.

The Aussie dollar was fetching 75.22 US cents, 54.31 British pence and 63.17 Euro cents in afternoon trade.

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